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Quantum Leaps to Grow Your Business (Part Two)


What do Virgin, Apple, Facebook and Zara have in common? They have all successfully made quantum leaps in their business, to take it to the next level.

In my last blog I explained that for a business to grow successfully and realise its full potential, it needs to take ‘quantum leaps’ throughout its life cycle.

Understanding what factors drive quantum leaps can assist in managing and responding to business changes effectively.

Factors that drive quantum leaps

Quantum leaps often coincide with dramatic events that forever change a business (such as the GFC, recession, natural disasters, founders stepping back, debt facilities being reduced or significant market changes).

As much as we wish they didn’t happen, hard times make for some of the most valuable quantum leaps a business can make.

The business has no option but to change and usually very quickly with no planning – just fast, responsive action to protect the business and ensure its survival.

Hard times will test the strength of any business. Whatever isn’t solid will fall, and in its place something new will emerge that will better serve the business and enable it to grow sustainably.

Quantum leaps can also be driven by acquisitions, mergers, sales, public listings and IPOs that are a natural progression in the growth path.

If a business doesn’t quantum leap, it may survive and grow but it’s unlikely to reach its full potential and if by chance it does, it will take much longer to achieve.

Who has taken the quantum leap?

It’s in the nature of an entrepreneur to quantum leap.

They have a strong company vision, passion and they just do it. They’re happy being outside their comfort zone and like to push others outside theirs.

They want to experience the unknown and take risks to achieve great rewards.

Here are some examples of successful growth companies that have taken the leap.

Virgin
Virgin started as an airline that set the industry benchmark for customer service at an affordable price. Using their brand and business model success, they quantum leaped by launching a diverse range of new businesses.

They kept reinventing the business to grow by successfully connecting with the public and providing them what they wanted. Each quantum leap had synergies with the existing business to ensure success.

Apple
Apple challenged the status quo by taking on Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. They took big risks to succeed and continue to take quantum leaps by developing new and innovative products to hold their brand position.

Zara
Zara showed the fashion houses what could be achieved with a turnaround of two weeks from production to shops – a first for the fashion industry. Rather than outsourcing, they used an in-house production model to give them flexibility and a clear market edge.

Facebook
These originators of social media took a quantum leap like no other, by creating a platform for individuals and businesses to interact in a way that was completely different from the past. In doing so, they changed the face of communication in the 21st century.

Where to from here?

Most businesses require some expert assistance throughout their growth path.

It’s important to enlist the help of people who have strong operational experience and a deep understanding of how to successfully grow a business.

Most of all, be prepared to quantum leap to ensure your business grows and reaches its full potential.

Feel free to share your stories on how quantum leaps have helped grow your business.

Barbara Ould was a former Client Director in the Melbourne office of Vantage Performance, Australia’s leading turnaround management and profit improvement firm – solving complex problems for businesses experiencing major change.

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